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Acing the test: New Wildcat veterinary graduates excel on national licensing exam

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022

Abigail Ayre

Abigail Ayre, a May 2022 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine graduate, is honored at the College of Veterinary Medicine graduation ceremony in May. The college's class of 2022 earned a 99% passage rate on the national veterinary licensing exam, well above the national pass rate. | Download this photo.



MANHATTAN — The numbers are in: This year, the Kansas State University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine class of 2022 passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination, or NAVLE, at a rate of 99%, which is 9 percentage points above the pass rate average of 90% for other colleges of veterinary medicine.

The previous high mark for the K-State veterinary college was set by last year's graduates at 5 percentage points above the national average. In 13 out of the last 14 years, K-State has been above the national score.

"Our senior students always perform well on the national exam, but a nine-percentage point margin is unprecedented,” said Bonnie Rush, Hodes family dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "Our faculty taught in person during the COVID pandemic — unlike the majority of veterinary colleges. Every laboratory section was taught face to face with exactly the same opportunities as any normal year. As a college, we were committed to providing K-State Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students with an experience as close to normal as possible during an extremely challenging time."

Senior students from 2020 and 2021 missed less time in K-State's clinical training program than any other college of veterinary medicine in North America. The class of 2022 did not miss any portion of its clinical training program.

Rush emphasized that many factors contributed to K-State's successful trend. The college provides each senior student with a commercial product to support their preparation for the national licensing exam. The exam aid features practice questions and additional summary resources.

"Many Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students in the U.S. purchase this resource to prepare for NAVLE; however, we provide students with additional data that monitors progress toward success," Rush said. "K-State has provided this resource to veterinary students since 2018. Additionally, the effort of our talented senior students to prepare last year was outstanding."

A deeper dive shows how K-State graduates fared in different aspects of the licensing examination.

"The International Council for Veterinary Assessment breaks down the NAVLE into 22 categories," said James Roush, associate dean for academic programs and student success in the College of Veterinary Medicine. "The K-State 2022 class was at or above average in 21 out of 22 categories."

These categories include a set of competencies such as preventive medicine, public health, practice management, problem management and diagnoses for 12 species categories ranging from canines and felines to livestock and poultry as well as reptiles, pet birds and other small mammals.

Roush called the successful pass rate numbers a "shared victory" among the efforts of all faculty, staff and the 2022 graduates themselves.

"Everyone here at the college has a part in this milestone," Roush said. "Four years of tireless effort, new trials and challenges through the pandemic and following year, long days and sometimes sleepless nights — and it is all worth it as the 2022 graduates get a great start on their new careers."

More information on the national licensing examination is available at icva.net/navle.